Cisco, Fusion-io's blade lovechild in EMC flash face-off
Will VBlock partner be forced to line a rival's pockets?
Blocks and Files Will VCE ship Vblocks - its virtual machine battery farms - with Fusion-io flash cards inside instead of EMC's VFCache memory rival?
In June Cisco entered into an OEM deal with Fusion-io whereby the networking hardware titan would incorporate Fusion's ioDrive2 PCIe flash cards into its UCS B-Series blade servers. The aim is to speed up applications running on those servers by dishing data from fast flash instead of slow disk, and also treating flash as a memory tier and bypassing the host operating system's disk IO subsystem.
Cisco could have chosen from several PCIe flash vendors, including OCZ, STEC, Micron and EMC. It picked Fusion-io.
Park that thought for a moment and consider this: Cisco, EMC and VMware are partners in VCE, which builds converged server, network and compute stacks called Vblocks: each one contains Cisco server and networking technology, EMC storage and VMware hypervisor software.
EMC has its own PCIe flash card product, the VFCache, which uses Micron or LSI WarpDrive technology. Cisco has rejected this kit for its B-Series blade servers, selecting Fusion-io instead, and these blade servers go into Vblocks.
When Cisco ships B-Series blades with Fusion-io ioDrive flash cards designed in later this year, will they be used in Vblocks? If they are not then Vblock customers won't be getting the best and fastest Cisco servers. If they are then EMC will be helping to sell Fusion-io flash cards that compete with its own VFCache products.
Intriguing question, no? ®
PS… Would NetApp agree to having Fusion-io flash-enhanced UCS servers in the FlexPod configurations? Pretty please?
would be surprised...
ntap allowing f.io in f.pod. are u keeping some thing from us chris? will ntap resell f.io? do share.
I doubt you will see VCE sell DAS solutions in the near future
While the underlying concepts are similar I guess the issue would be does the Fusion-IO card in a Vblock configuration support the same functionality? The main functional difference I am thinking of is that as I understand it the EMC solution uses their card for reads and writes through it to the underlying block storage so that in the event of a failure that the data is stored and protected externally to the host and the card. If Fusion-IO supports this then either solution would be fine but if not then it comes back to the potential limitation of having your data on a PCI card inside a server that could fail at some point.
I suspect the reason EMC calls it VFcache is that is a good description of what it is doing.
The Fusion-IO products work well but I find the overall solution set from EMC to be compelling.